Photography Marketing – A Profitable 2017 Part 2
Hey hey there, welcome to part TWO of setting yourself up for a profitable 2017! How did you do in part 1? Did it hurt? Were you frustrated?
If you haven’t gone through Part 1 yet, you’ll definitely want to do some reflection on 2016. Check out Part 1 here and answer the questions, the come on back to Part 2!
So let’s talk about what you found in Part 1. When you are looking back on 2016, what did you see? The good, the bad, the ugly? Sometimes it is REALLY HARD to be objective when it comes to looking JUST at facts in your photography business!
Let’s go down the line, and again, use that sparkly pretty pen and write out your thoughts!
REVENUE – are you happy with where you finished for 2016? Do you even KNOW where you finished for 2016? Are you tracking it? If not, GET ON IT. What gets measured, gets managed – when you know where your revenue stands, you are more likely to work towards goals that you have in place. If you have no idea where you’re at, how can you push yourself to go even further?
Weddings or sessions – are you happy with where you finished? I actually found that my number was WAY below what I originally forecasted, but my revenue was way up because of pricing changes – so I’m okay with that. Did you book enough in 2016? If not, what can you do to change that for 2017?
Systems, achievements, feedback… are you happy with the workflow you have in place? Are you getting positive feedback from clients, or do you have a lot of unhappy clients?
WHERE did they find you? This can sometimes be a hard one to track, especially for certain genres. My clients will meet me at a bridal show but stalk me for two years before booking – so it can be a tough one to really know! BUT – always ask. Always always always ask!
When you look at your favorite and least favorite things, as well as what flopped – what lessons can you take from those things? What can you let go of, what can you do more of?
Every single one of these things is an article in itself – heck, a whole class in itself – but in Part 2 I want to focus on one specific piece of this that ties into everything else:
When you opened your professional photography business, I bet you didn’t know that you were going to have to be an accountant, a photographer, a marketer, a social media expert, a writer, and everything else. I know I didn’t. I wanted to take pretty pictures and get money for it.
But the reality is that we wear so many different hats.
Photography Marketing is the lifeblood of your business.
This is what brings in new clients, which in turn brings in bookings and revenue, which in turn allows you to outsource and grow your business in ways you never dreamed possible. And it can be crazy overwhelming!
When I was going through the different options available for photography marketing in my business, the list alone was enough to make me want to throw in the towel. Ready for a snippet? Don’t panic, okay?
These are JUST the online avenues that you can use for photography marketing, and it’s not even a complete list!
Facebook personal, Facebook business, Facebook ads, Facebook groups, Facebook live, Periscope, Instagram, Instagram ads, Pinterest, Pinterest ads, Reddit, Blog, Tumblr, Email, Twitter, Google+, SEO, Snapchat, Nextdoor, Google Ads, Yelp, YouTube…
Seriously, the list goes on and on and on. Then you add in things like video marketing, referrals, rep programs, partnerships with stores, events, expos, and more – and now I think we all want to cower in the corner and say NOOOOOOOOO!
It is crazy overwhelming. Photography marketing can be so many different things, and you really need to think about what is going to grow your business LONG TERM, and set you up for success.
So how do you know what to choose?
Again, this could be a complete course in itself, but let’s think about a few different things.
First, who is your ideal client?
This does NOT mean how much do they make, or where do they shop. This means, what do they value? Where do they hang out? What is important to them?
Second, out of ALL of the options above, plus more, what would be in front of your ideal client the most?
This is a hard one to consider, but SO IMPORTANT. Example: I work with adult women, so SnapChat isn’t really on my radar. But, I have a friend who specializes in seniors, and she uses it regularly. Seniors in high school are looking at SnapChat, my ideal clients (adult women) are not. What are YOUR ideal clients looking at? What are they reading? Where are they “hanging out” when they’re online, or in person?
Third, what can you realistically handle?
This is the hardest one for me. I WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS! But the reality is that I can’t do all of them, and spreading my time super thin between 10 marketing avenues means that I’m not doing a great job on any of them. It’s a waste of time, a waste of space, and enough to make anyone go crazy. I choose to focus on four avenues specifically, because I know that my clients are there, and that they are beneficial for my business.
Do you have to decide now for the whole year? Not necessarily. If you choose one and after two months you see NOTHING from it, and it seems to be a waste of time, you can move! But be cautious, because most marketing avenues take TIME to really see a return on investment.
SO – out of all of the options above, plus any other options in person or otherwise, what are you going to focus on in marketing for 2017? I want you to choose anywhere between three and five options, or LESS. Don’t go above five, let’s focus on the top five or less, and really rock those! If you only want to do two – GREAT! But definitely keep it small, and let’s move forward with some goals and plans for those specific avenues in your photography marketing. Spreading yourself too thin is a recipe for disaster!
Let me know what avenues you have chosen, I would love to know what your marketing focus will be for 2017!